Nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, nasopharynx
Squamous cell carcinoma-nonkeratinizing (cylindrical / transitional)

Topic Completed: 1 November 2013

Minor changes: 11 July 2020

Copyright: 2004-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Cylindrical transitional cell carcinoma

Rifat Mannan, M.D.
Songyang Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.
Page views in 2019: 1,367
Page views in 2020 to date: 605
Cite this page: Mannan R, Yuan S. Squamous cell carcinoma-nonkeratinizing (cylindrical / transitional). website. Accessed August 12th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Rare variant of sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma in sinonasal tract
  • Usually develops de novo, rarely arises from preexisting inverted papilloma
  • Also known as nonkeratinizing squamous cell carcinoma, transitional carcinoma, Schneiderian carcinoma, Ringertz carcinoma, respiratory epithelial carcinoma, cylindrical (transitional) cell carcinoma
  • Constitutes 10% of malignant tumors of sinonasal tract and about 30% of squamous cell carcinomas in this region
  • Predominantly affects males in seventh decade
  • Maxillary antrum is most common site, followed by lateral nasal wall and ethmoid sinus
Clinical features
  • Nasal obstruction, rhinorrhea and epistaxis are common
  • Advanced cases may present with proptosis, diplopia or lacrimation
Prognostic factors
  • Better prognosis than keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma
Case reports
  • Surgical resection is treatment of choice
  • Possibly radiotherapy (Cancer 1970;25:50)
Gross description
  • May be an exophytic, fungating or papillary mass
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Papillary, ribbon-like or plexiform patterns, frequently with central necrosis
  • Resembles urothelial (transitional) carcinoma
  • Usually invades underlying tissue with a pushing margin
  • Tumor cells are medium to large, with cylindrical or basaloid morphology, marked nuclear atypia and brisk mitotic activity
  • Squamous differentiated cells are frequently seen but tumor is devoid of significant keratinization
  • Occasional mucus containing cells can be seen
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Transitional (cylindrical) cell carcinoma in sinonasal papilloma

Positive stains
Negative stains
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